East coast job concerns stabilize
TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - While optimism has dropped in Atlantic
Canada about the outlook for personal finances and the Canadian economy
on the whole, the majority (57 per cent) of residents on the east coast
are not setting any money aside for rainy days, according to the October RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index (RBC CCO).
Atlantic Canadians are the most focused in the country, however, on
reducing their debt over the next 12 months (37 per cent compared to 33
per cent nationally). Over one-quarter (29 per cent) of east coast
consumers plan to spend less, 16 per cent want to save or invest more
and 19 per cent will take all of these actions.
"Atlantic Canadians tend to look for very practical ways to balance
money coming in with money going out," said Kim Mason, regional
president, Atlantic Provinces, RBC. "The advice that our financial
planners provide helps their clients find that balance, so that they
can set aside some savings and also pay monthly bills."
The RBC CCO found that 31 per cent of people in Atlantic Canada expect
to see improvements in the outlook for their personal financial situation over the upcoming year, down from
37 per cent last quarter. East coast residents also are much less
confident than last quarter that the national economy will improve (25
per cent compared to 41 per cent last quarter).
Concerns about job losses and layoffs remain stable in Atlantic Canada
at 18 per cent, the second lowest job anxiety level in the country.
Meanwhile, the latest RBC Economic Outlook forecasts that softening employment and lackluster U.S. demand will
slow economic growth in most of the region in 2011, with the exception
of Newfoundland and Labrador.
"We expect to see the highest economic growth in the region in
Newfoundland and Labrador this year, due to a booming minerals sector
and high levels of non-residential investment," explained Craig Wright,
senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "Weak U.S. demand is
having a dampening effect on economic growth in Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick, while a strong domestic sector should bolster Prince Edward
The RBC CCO is Canada's most comprehensive consumer assessment of the
economy, personal financial situation and economic and purchasing
expectations. Other provincial highlights from the October RBC CCO
Major Purchases: Half (50 per cent) of Atlantic Canadians have delayed making major
purchases (such as vehicles, household appliances or spending on
vacations) due to current economic conditions. Forty-four per cent plan
on spending less on such purchases over the next 12 months.
Savings: Over one-quarter (28 per cent) of east coast residents have had to dip
into their savings to help pay every day expenses or for an emergency
in the past three months, slightly less than the national average of 30
The national RBC CCO release, full set of regional releases and related
comparative data charts can be accessed via www.rbc.com/newsroom/2011/1026-cdn-consumer.html.
About RBC's debt management and other financial advice and interactive
RBC's myFinanceTracker, a new online financial management tool, offers all personal RBC online banking clients the ability, at no cost, to create a set budget and track their
spending habits. Whether Canadians want to get more from their day to day banking, protect what's important, save and invest, borrow with confidence or
take care of their businesses, the RBC Advice Centre can help answer their questions. Interactive tools and calculators
provide customized information covering many facets of personal
finance. In addition, online advice videos are updated regularly to
reflect current trends and to answer the questions that are top of mind
with Canadians. With the guidance of RBC advisors who are available to
chat live, Canadians have access to free, no-obligation professional
advice about RBC products and services and personalized one-on-one
service. Further information is available at www.rbcadvicecentre.com.
About the RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook Index
Benchmarked as of November 2009, the RBC CCO is conducted online via
Ipsos Reid's national I-Say Consumer Panel. Data was collected between
September 26 to October 3, 2011, via 3,054 Canadians (453 British
Columbia, 454 Alberta, 458 Saskatchewan/Manitoba, 705 Ontario, 516
Quebec, 467 Atlantic Canada). Weighting was then employed to balance
demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of
the adult population according to Census data and to provide results
intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an
unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response
rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±1.65 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the
entire population of adults in Canada been polled.
For further information:
Lori Smith, RBC, 902 421-8121, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Bevan, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-2727, email@example.com
Craig Christie, RBC Corporate Communications, 416 974-8820, firstname.lastname@example.org